Karachi: President, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Muhammad Saeed Shafiq, Senior Vice President Talat Mahmood, Vice President Junaid Esmail Makda, Chairman, Public Sector Utilities, Power and Gas Sub-committee Dr. Qazi Ahmed Kamal, have rejected the recent news by ECC to increase tariffs and gas outages for industry and CNG sector while terming it one-sided. They, in a press note stated that the KCCI takes a very exception to the recent news regarding the escalation of prices for the various categories of end users and the proposed gas load shedding and the possible curtailment to the industries and CNG sector in Sindh in spite of ample reserves and gas availability in the province so that an even load shedding time table can be introduced across the country.
They cautioned that the decision would severely harm the economy of Sindh which source more than 60 percent revenue in terms of taxes and demanded to consult with Business Community. They also warned that the situation arising out of gas outages will lead to colossal collapse in commitment to export orders, flight of capital, huge labour layoffs, and worsening of law and order situation in Karachi and decline in the revenue of the government.
They said that on one side government is contemplating to increase targets for nominal growth and on the other side its harsh decisions to increase utility tariffs and gas and power outages are posing severe threats for achieving the said target. At present, country is going through a very serious economic crisis in terms of escalating cost of production/ manufacturing based on continuous rise on the utilities.
They categorically rejected this plan in absolute terms and stressed that under article 158 of the constitution of Pakistan, the issue of the availability and use of gas has been specifically settled once and for all and any changes in it can only be done through the legal process of National Assembly acceptance of the same. The matter is under the court and sub-judice at this point of time. Not only that but there is also an implementation request at the Supreme court of Pakistan. Any action contrary to the status-quo before the judgement of the supreme court will tantamount to a contempt of court proceeding.
They stated that the KCCI will not accept any holidays of gas supplies to its affiliated 5 industrial zones and industries thereof along with CNG stations in Karachi. They focused that in a total national output of 3800 MMCFD approx. Sindh/Balochistan are consuming only 37 percent approx i.e. 1200 MMCFD. Today even out of this 37 percent 1200 MMCFD, we are getting 25 percent less. Whereas shortage in SNGPL (Punjab) is 15 percent. KCCI is quite interested to know that when our local province SSGC supply is around 1105 MMCFD and that of SNGPL is 1800 where does the rest of the odd 900 MMCFD goes?
They articulated that the plan of the Govt to pass on the savings of gas to the KESC is not possible as there is no GSA between the SSGC and KESC, with the absence of such an accord the possibility of benefitting the KESC will hit a legal loop hole and will not materialise.
“The KCCI will not be able to stop the ensuing agitation and a genuine one at that by its members of the industry, commerce and the CNG specially. The government must take the stakeholders into the loop and stop the one-sided iron handed policies that have always needed in bad blood”, they maintained
For more information, contact:
M. Shafiq Baig
Public Relations Officer
Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI)
Tel: +9221 9921 8001 -09
Fax: +9221 9921 8010
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com